Who Owns Bob Ross Inc. Now? How the Kowalski Family Secured the Rights

In the documentary, Annette and Walt Kowalski detail taking painting classes by Bob Ross following a family tragedy, leading them to eventually decide to “put it in a bottle and sell it,” as Annette said.

From there, Bob landed his PBS special and his empire slowly began to grow. Bob, Annette, Walt, and Bob’s wife, Jane, each shared quarter-portions of the company, but once Bob’s wife passed, her shares were split evenly among the three remaining members, leaving Bob as a minority shareholder.

This reportedly started a long battle by Bob to preserve the rights to the company that was built on his image, though it was a messy and complicated battle that was only made further cumbersome when Bob was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma — a diagnosis that would eventually lead to his death in 1995.

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